Call for Applications: Kenya International Theatre Festival

Deadline Date: May 31, 2024

Donor Name: Kenya International Theatre Festival Trust

Grant Size: Not Available

Applications are now open for the Kenya International Theatre Festival (KITFest) not only to celebrate theatre but experience the culture, connect with people and indulge in adventure!

While most festivals across the world are competitive and winners are awarded in the end, KITFest is different in nature. This is a global thespian community celebration of theatre and the focus is on sharing knowledge, collaborations, tourism and fun activities that enhance the social and artistic aspects of theatre.

The Kenya International Festival Trust (KITFT) is the legal entity managing the Kenya International Theatre Festival (KITFest).

Features of KITFest

  • Artistic Showcases
    • KITFest was conceived specifically to celebrate theatre and showcase the works of theatre artists from all over the world. It’s an international platform where theatre lovers have the opportunity to attend & watch performances, share artistic excellence, innovation and explore the intersections between various theatrical genres.
  • Training & Development
    • Training in both artistic and business acumen has been at the core of the activities. Through cross-platform and agency collaboration, they hold workshops in each KITFest venue for the local artists and groups, equipping them with skills for enhancing the value and quality of their talents.
  • Exchange Programs
    • The presence of an active international theatre festival in Kenya means Kenyan thespians will always have access to the global theatre scene for exposure to leading skills and knowledge, new production techniques and opportunities from across the world. KITFest is continuously facilitating exchange programs to ensure local theatre travels for both education and business opportunities.
  • Community Theatre
    • Kenyan theatre is characterised by a great presence in a few towns and cities, with Nairobi leading the lot by a huge margin. While the history of theatre suggests that it was one of the major community-based activities, urbanisation and formalisation of the craft have made it dwindle in rural areas. KITFest, through the County Tours and Community Theatre projects, seeks to reintroduce theatre back to the villages as a powerful advocacy tool, teaching platform, source of livelihood and a quality socio-cultural community element.

KITFest Attendee Experiences

  • Theme Nights
    • All participating countries get a dedicated evening to showcase their culture. While their theatrical performance(s) take centre-stage on that particular evening, they have an option to provide other unique cultural items in the form of food, clothing, music and dance among other experiences. Local respective consulates are commonly involved in the provision of these experiences.
  • Music Experiences
    • Each evening after the conclusion of theatrical performances and theme nights, they have a fully professional open air music stage setup for musical performances and DJ mixes into the night. First introduced at #KITFest2021, these daily music experiences were inspired by the need to provide quality entertainment for the fans who like to hang around the venue for socialisation and interactions with the visiting guests.
  • Tourism
    • Tourism has been a core inclusion into the KITFest programme since inception. Kenya is a world renowned touristic destination with an array of attractions ranging from historic sites, wildlife and beaches to preserved Savannahs and scenic geographical features. KITFest guests are assisted in accessing attractions of their choosing with certain conveniences packaged into the festival.
  • Cabaret
    • At KITFest, they appreciate that artistic expression involves certain experiences explored when visiting a new place. While tourism covers most of these, the Kenyan nightlife is an additional experience programmed into the festival for the visiting guests to enjoy. This is normally achieved by the KITFest staff, the local artists and international guests coming together for a fun night tour around the city.
  • Market Visits
    • Souvenir shopping is one of the key highlights for the guests. They enjoy immersing themselves in the local culture through crafts, fashion, foods and related experiences. A dedicated guide is provided for each team to take walks around the town, stalls and market areas in the normally bright Nairobi weather in November.
  • Community Living
    • KITFest promotes sharing and interaction between the guests, their guides and staff. The accommodation has all the amenities of a hotel with each guest having their own personal spaces. However, cooking, meal times and living rooms are shared as a community which enhances the social well-being of each guest in a fun and artistically enriching environment.

Participation Options

  • Performing Groups
    • Performing at KITFest requires submission of an application. This is only possible after a call for participation has been made which marks the opening of the submission process. All theatre teams from across the world are eligible to apply.
  • Partnerships
    • KITFest is a non-profit festival which relies on partnerships to enable the celebration of theatre. They aim to provide the partners with exquisite people experiences that contribute to the overall social, theatrical and artistic features of the festival. Opportunities to attain a broader audience, cultural experiences, artistic expression and socio-cultural interactions are all available.
  • Workshops & Masterclasses
    • Training in both artistic and business acumen has been at the core of the activities. Through cross-platform and agency collaboration, they hold workshops, masterclasses and residencies for the Kenyan artists and groups, equipping them with skills for enhancing the value and quality of their production process.
  • Volunteers
    • As a non-profit festival, volunteers provide invaluable assistance in running the activities of the festival smoothly. In return, they ensure volunteers undergo a holistic approach to career development with skills and knowledge through working experience, special volunteer workshops and constant access to both international and local participating troupes for knowledge exchange and idea-sharing.
  • Vendors
    • The main festival in Nairobi is a two-week-long affair with theatre audiences, local and international participants and performing art fans whose presence at the venue creates a need for provision of convenience amenities, products, services and experiences. KITFest, in collaboration with instamarket254, invites vendors across various sectors to set up on-site presence for this purpose.
  • Audiences
    • KITFest is a celebration of theatre by performances from all over the world. These performances are open to the public to watch, with a majority of the audiences being Kenyan theatre-lovers. In recent years, they have seen an increase in diplomatic and foreign fans with individuals travelling to Kenya in November specifically to experience the festival.

For more information, visit Kenya International Theatre Festival Trust.

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